New Echota: February 10, 1830
The remarks which we made last week respecting the increasing interest in the public mind on the subject of Indian Affairs are abundantly confirmed by the articles published this day. For the encouragement, of our home readers we particularly invite their attention to the piece taken from the American Spectator, published in Washington. We have great confidence in the assertions and judgment of that paper. Let not our citizens despair, but take courage-holding fast to their rights, let them trust in the providence of God, and the good sense of the people of the United States.
We are so overrun with Indian matter, that we are not only obliged to withhold our own remarks, but of necessity omit many interesting and important pieces, which we should otherwise be pleased to present to our readers.
FIRST BLOOD SHED BY THE GEORGIANS!!
Since writing the above, we have been told by a gentleman who passed this place as an express to the agent, from the principal chief, that a Cherokee has, at last, been killed by the intruders, and three more taken bound into Georgia! We are not prepared this week to give the public any particulars respecting this unpleasant affair. The general facts are, however, these, the particulars of which will be given in our next. A company of Cherokees, among whom were some of our most respectable citizens, constrained by the repeated aggressions and insults of a number of intruders, who had settled themselves far in the country, ' likewise by the frequent losses sustained by many of our citizens in cattle and horses from their own countrymen, who are leagued in wickedness with our civilized brothers, started the other day, under the authority of the Principal Chief to correct, at least part of the evil. They were out two days, in which time they arrested four Cherokee horse-thieves. These received exemplary punishment. They found also 17 families of intruders, living, we believe, in Cherokee houses. These they ordered out and after safely taking out their beddings, chairs, 'c. the houses were set on fire. In no instance was the least violence used on the part of the Cherokees. When the company returned home, five of them tarried on the way, who, we are sorry to say, had become intoxicated. In this situation,they were found by a company of intruders, twenty five in number.- One was killed, ' three taken into Georgia.
Thus a circumstance, which we have for a long time dreaded, and which has been brought about by the neglect of the executive to remove the great nuisance to the Cherokees; has happened. We are nevertheless, glad, that the injury received is on the side of this nation. It has been the desire of our enemies that the Cherokees may be urged to some desperate act--thus far this desire has never been realized, and we hope, notwithstanding the great injury now sustained, their wanted forbearance will be continued. If our word will have any weight with our countrymen in this very trying time, we would say: forbear, forbear--revenge not, but leave vengeance to him 'to whom vengeance belongeth.'
P. S. On last Saturday, it was reported, that a large company of Georgians were on their way to arrest Mr. Ross and Major Ridge. We think it not improbable that an attempt of that kind will be made. If so, self defence, on the part of the Cherokees, many of whom , we understand, were at Ross's and Ridge's would undoubtedly be justifiable.
Extracts of a letter from a Gentleman in New Jersey to a friend in the Cherokee Nation.
'You have no doubt seen the celebrated message of the President.- And pray what do you think of the new system of logic lately adopted at Washington!'
'I am much surprised to find people of some discernment applauding it as containing unanswerable arguments on the Indian question.
will not call to remembrance that the Cherokees were an independent state when the first white man set his foot on this continent, and that they have never ceased to be an independent state.' 'The United States have acknowledged them to be such, and treated with them as a sovereign people.'
'When the United States formed their Constitution which says that an independent state shall not be formed within another; the Cherokee state was in existence then, as well as the State of Georgia. Therefore the state of Georgia violates the Constitution in her attempts to form herself on the Territory of another state which is equally free and independent with herself.'
'But say they, the bounds of the state of Georgia extend over a great part of the Indian state.'
'Query. Who gave Georgia these bounds? The king of England had no right to it. He never acquired a right to it: neither by occupation, nor by purchase, nor by conquest, nor by gift. I cannot conceive of any right he could have unless he could obtain it by looking at a map. As if the Chief of the Cherokees were to look at the map of Russia and very liberally bestow it on France.'